12 June 2020

Today is the final day of our joint Eco Awareness Week. We are focusing on one of the most important issues of our time – climate change and how we can help, both during and after lockdown. 

To get some answers we talked to climate expert Dr James Rae from the University of St Andrews about how to reduce global heating, the role young people can play and how COVID and lockdown might influence our approach to the climate emergency in future.

Together, we have put together some quick and easy changes we can all make to our daily lives to support this critical issue:

  1. Talk about climate change more – As Dr Rae says, making noise about environmental issues – whether that be talking with friends and family or sharing things on social media – is a key first step to raising awareness.
  2. Cut down on meat and dairy – Not only is this a really effective way of reducing CO2 emissions but results in all-round more sustainable way of living – with massive reductions in things like water use and deforestation rates as well. There is a great documentary called Cowspiracy on Netflix which covers these issues in more detail. If you don’t have Netflix, there’s also a link to a condensed 15-minute version here.
  3. Wash your clothes at lower temperatures – If everyone in the UK washed their clothes at 30 °C rather than 40 °C it could save 858,000 tonnes of CO2 per year – the equivalent of taking roughly 400,000 cars off the road.
  4. Get into climate activism – Over the last few years huge changes have been brought about by climate activists. Climate activism doesn’t need to stop because of lockdown: try to follow accounts like XR or UKSCN on Facebook and Instagram. Climate activism is the way forward – even Google recommends we all join Extinction Rebellion!
  5. Ask your parents to switch to Green Tariff – Only 33% of the UK’s energy comes from renewable resources. You can help support the renewable energy industry by switching to green tariff – this means that your energy supplier will match some of the electricity you use with renewable energy, which then goes back into the National Grid.

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